Ocala, Fla. - March 21, 2016 - With top finishes in major grand prix events across the country, Australia's Matt Williams and Valinski S, owned by Wyndmont Inc, have been showcasing their partnership and knocking on the door for a win. On Sunday afternoon at HIST Ocala, the duo topped a seven-horse jump-off to capture their first victory together during the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix.
Williams and Valinski S were the final pair to clear the first round track and the last to return for the tiebreaker. With the opportunity to see the first two athletes compete, Williams made a plan to leave out a stride in the first line and make up time over the first four obstacles, so that he could be extra careful to the final double combination. The decision paid off when they dashed across the finish line with all the rails intact and fastest time of the day to claim the victory.
"It was nice for a change to not have to go first in the jump-off," laughed Williams. "Valinski has been third in so many good classes now, it's nice to get a win under our belts. I am just really happy. Every time he goes in the ring, he's been great. I think the last six grand prix he's been in the top five, so he's been really consistent."
Those top finishes include a third in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Las Vegas and the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Williams commented, "The first time I rode Valinski, we clicked, and it's just grown from there. I have so much confidence in the horse, and he can feel that I believe him. He just goes out and does it. Every time he goes out he gives 100 percent. I am lucky to have a horse like him."
Wyndmont founder and trainer Ronnie Beard was thrilled with the pair's performance stating, "Matt has gotten to know the horse very well, and he's starting to trust the horse's stride and scope. I think the best is yet to come."
Beard was also pleased with the performance of the other Wyndmont mounts, Cuchia and Zephyr, who also competed in the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix with Williams.
"It was Cuchica's first major grand prix," noted Beard. "He had an unlucky four faults, but he jumped brilliantly. To see him break through to the next level was really exciting."
Next week, Williams and Valinski S will compete in the Great American Million, before taking a long rest to gear up for their summer schedule. Cuchica and Zephyr will also continue to compete with the Wyndmont team during HITS Ocala.
Founded by Beard and Dorman, Wyndmont Inc. is known for producing highly competitive hunter and jumper riders and horses under Beard and Dorman's guidance, developing programs that benefit both human and equine athletes. For more information, visit Wyndmont.com or find them on Facebook!